There are many ups and downs in life for everyone, even for passionate bands who make quite joyful music. Also the Florida based band SURFER BLOOD had a quite dark year as John Paul Pitts got arrested in 2012 because of domestic battery. But now, three years after their debut Astro Coach the four piece band SURFER BLOOD return with their second LP Pythons via Warner Bros. They recorded the album together with legendary producer Gil Norton at EastWest Studios in Hollywood. So did the cloudy year influence the music of the band or are SURFER BLOOD still like we know them?
The answer is not easy, but doubtless. Pynthos is like their debut full of heavy guitars, irresistible grooves and vocals wavering between serious and disaffected and it doesn’t sound dark at all. There are light-hearted songs and also smooth ones, but probably the record is not that catchy. On their debut the drama songs were probably the best, on this LP it is the other way round and the lighter songs are more hooky. The single Weird Shapes contains driving rhythms, pianos and distant screaming that remind a bit of WEEZER. Say Yes to Me and Blair Which are highlights of the album as the balance between crashing guitars and melody is really good. Squeezing Blood is driven by a Afro Pop sound whilst the slow song needles and pins has more of a beach feeling surfer sound.
All in all the record is full of quite enjoyable SURFER BLOOD typical songs – but that’s it. All the songs sound quite similar and they probably won’t change your mind or attitude to life and they won’t encourage you. It’s nice to listen to the record and to relax but you probably can’t feel the passion you expect from surfing musicians whilst listening.